Book Stuff We Love

Yeah, we're geeks. We just love the smell of wheat paste in the morning! And nothing gets our juices flowing like learning a new book term or discovering a new bibliographic resource. This is the page where we get to share the neat stuff we stumble across in our travels. Click on each one to jump to their site!

And — Send us links! We're always on the lookout for more cool book-related things! Mail us at Editor@Bookfairs.Com

Book Description Terms

From the New Yorker magazine, comes a short film featuring some of the most delightful terms booksellers use to describe books!

Publishers’ Bindings Online

From the University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a virtual gallery of books from the heydey of edition bindings, 1815-1930. Browse by artistic or literary style, search by binding designer or monogram, skim the biographies and essays, explore the glossary. A truly extraordinary resource.

Dictionary of Bookbinding and Conservation

The online version of “Bookbinding and the Conservation of books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology,” by Matt T. Roberts and Don Etherington, with a Foreword by Frederick Goff. Search or browse, follow links, lose hours out of your day...

The Atlas of Early Printing

From the University of Iowa, an interactive map that follows the spread of printing, the rise of the great European universities, the proliferation of paper mills, the volume of output by location, trade routes, and the location of conflicts (totally cool to see their impact on the spread of the written word!).

The "Bookseller Labels" Web Site

Dating back to the 18th century, booksellers and bookbinders both have placed small identifying labels (or, in the case of binders, "tickets") in books; Gabe Konrád of Bay Leaf Books has built an entertaining and educational web site around his own collection.

The “Encyclopédie” — in English!

Courtesy of the University of Michigan, English translations of much of the exhaustive “Encyclopédie” of Diderot and d'Alembert, complete with the plates! Browse by subject or article title, or perform searches across the entire corpus. Speak French? Volunteer to help with the translation project!

Cataloguing Terms

Can't remember what to call it when they do that thing to the thing with the thing? Now you don't have to! The nice people over at RBMS have compiled a list of terms, and gathered together in a hierarchical list. Fun to browse, too. Use it along with the Etherington Dictionary (see above, left) — find a term you don't know here? Look it up there!

The Art of Making Paper

Speaking of the “Encyclopédie” (see above), on week 19 of their “52 Weeks of Historical How-Tos,” our intrepid friends at the University of St. Andrews attempt to follow Diderot's instructions for making paper by hand, and manage (miraculously) not to make a complete and total mess!

Graphics Atlas

A nifty resource to help you identify and accurately describe photographic and print processes. Check out the interactive timeline on the "Guided Tour" tab!

Maps, Maps, Maps

The Library of Congress has more than 400,000 maps and map-oriented items in its collection. More than 16,000 of them have been digitized and are available in all their glory at the LC web site — and they're searchable, too!


Absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with books. But still one of the coolest things we've seen!